Friday, 08 May 2020 14:18

Fresh Lockdown Possible - Presidential Task Force Coordinator Warns

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The Federal Government yesterday again warned of a possible fresh lockdown of the country over the violation of the guidelines on the eased lockdown.

National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, gave the warning in Abuja at the 27th joint national briefing of the PTF.

He said if Nigerians continue to fail to respect and follow all the guidelines, the PTF might review and possibly change them.

“While we’ve allowed the relaxation of the lockdown, we’re putting measures in place to curb COVID-19 spread. Our modelling shows that the positive effects of full compliance with the Eased lockdown will be very similar to the effect of a full lockdown.

“This is why we need everyone to fully comply with all the guidelines issued. Please respect and follow all the guidelines we have instituted. If we continue to see violations of these guidelines, we will be pushed to review and possibly change them,” Aliyu said.

Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said those who tested positive and were in isolation centres had not committed any crime, thus were not being held in prison.

“So, we really want to work together with everyone to ensure that we all achieve our goals. The security in treatment and isolation centres is the same thing like any other established organisation as security is the responsibility of the police working with the state governments in that particular place.

“In certain circumstances, the states have had to increase the security in those facilities. In honesty, we don’t want to ‘securitize’ this response. We want people and organisations to take responsibilities,” Ihekweazu said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the second batch of Nigerians returning from the United Kingdom were expected to land at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, today and would be taken to Abuja where they would be isolated in a hotel.

According to him, Abuja hotel is the preferable option to isolate the returnees as the hotel rate is better compared to Lagos.

He said arrangements would be made for those meant to be in Lagos to return back to Lagos afterwards.

He said: “It’s a learning curve for all of us. So, we’re very happy that we’ve been able to get the first batch of Nigerians successfully back home. We’ll like to congratulate those passengers and thank them because really they comported themselves admirably and went to the hotels they’re meant to go to for isolation. The conditions are difficult. 14 days in confinement is not easy.”

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